New Dolphin!!

Welcome dolphin ID# 82uch of today was spent working on still photographs, however we also jumped into Tape 6, which needs to be logged (each dolphin in view must be identified and recorded). And it was an exciting day of video logging (a sign that we are big geeks!) because a dolphin previously and affectionately known as “the bane of Kel’s existence” was added to the catalog as dolphin ID# 82. This dolphin was seen regularly from the boat during 2004, however, would never been in view once we were underwater.


It had been nearly a week since we got a good swim…Today we had a group of one-day passengers, all eager to see and swim with the Atlantic spotted dolphins. It was a quiet trip most of the way, but we did get to see a large group—that kept getting larger! Some regulars were there, like #12 (Juliette), #22 (Split Jaw) and #56 (Lone Star), but the entire group was much more interested in each other than us or our boat. There were obvious mating behaviors going on as well as some playful feeding behaviors.

Honeymoon Harbor!

Southern stingrays and peaceful beaches  Today we suspended data to take Darcie to Honeymoon Harbor. Kel had only been once before, so it was nice for both us to visit what is popular spot south of Bimini. Honeymoon Harbor is an area on the west end of Gun Cay and is quite popular with tourists on the weekend (thus, our choice to go on a random Tuesday!). Here, the terrain changes with every tropical storm or hurricane, but it is always beautiful.

Inside work

After we finished our Monday errands     So today was a reminder of two things: one, we rely heavily on the internet; two: the internet is hardly reliable in Bimini. It is a great combo! We did spend the morning doing laundry and going to the bank before heading home to catch up on field report postings, data sheet entries and video logs.

Walk-In dolphin trip

Trip 38 Today’s trip was filled with walk-ins, which always adds a sense of pressure to find dolphins, since the passengers are only with us for one boat trip. Unfortunately, we did not see any spotted dolphins. We did however, see a group of at least 4 bottlenose, but they were acting very stereotypically- quick swim-bys followed by several minute dives.

A long day of diving

Drift dives and shark dives…We spend most of our boat time north of Bimini, in the area where the dolphins are most regularly seen. Today however, we took a recreational trip south. There are several great dive sites here and it is worth the hour+ journey to reach them. The first site we attempted to dive had too strong of a current and is too small of an area to be done as a drift dive. So, we tried another, Victory Reef.


Holy cow…Today was our last trip with this group of passengers. The day began with a group of 8 bottlenose right along the shore. We spent 8 minutes with the group before heading further north in search of spotteds. We came up a group of 4 spotteds at 17:06. It was #29 (White Blotch) and her calf, #81 with fresh cuts on the right side of its peduncle and an older, unknown dolphin. They weren’t terribly interested in us silly humans, but we were able to get a few quick glimpses of them underwater.

No spotteds for us

But the bottlenose entertain briefly Today was the final snorkel stop of the week and it was at Rainbow Reef, one of the few marine sanctuaries around Bimini. It is a reef with an extremely diverse population of fish (one research group catalogued 103 fish species on this relatively small section of reef). The reef itself is still showing signs of its sand-blasting from Hurricane Francis last fall.
    The only spotted dolphins we saw today were with another dolphin boat, so our boat gave them plenty of space.

LOTS of spotteds!

A good day with 3 EncountersToday we came upon a large, scattered group of spotted dolphins right at 15:00. There were at least 24 animals in the immediate area, with another subgroup farther off. We had three water entries, but by the end of the second, visibility was deteriorating quickly.

Diving and Dolphins

Equals a good dayThis morning we went diving with Darcie’s parents. We dived at Little Caverns first, then Rockwell, two great sites.